St. Mark's Square during the Carnival of Venice is home of the main outdoor public events: The Feast of the Marie (Festa delle Marie), the Flight of the Angel, the great masquerade parades and the historical reenactments. Among exclusive dances at the palace and receptions in costume, Carnival of Venice is also a full immersion into the crowd.
The Carnival is a popular event that involves every district of Venice and has its beginning and its conclusion in the heart of the city: Piazza San Marco. Here arrives in fact, on the first Saturday of the Carnival, the procession with the 12 Marie, here takes place on the first Sunday the Angel Flight. Here, with the Svolo Lion and the Carnival proclamation of Maria it ends on Mardì Grass.
Saturday February 18th, h. 03:00 pm
The programme of St. Mark’s Square
February 18th – 28th 2017
“Festa delle Marie” (The feast of the twelve Venetian brides “Maries”)
The "Festa delle Marie" (The feast of the twelve Venetian brides “Maries”) is nowadays an event which marks the official start of the Venice Carnival. It has its origin in historical event, as it remember the annual tribute offered by the Doge to some beautiful and humble Venetian maidens: the dowry for their wedding.
The “Festa delle Marie”, is a unique opportunity to admire the costumes of the Venetian tradition, and represents the beginning of the Carnival and the first phase of a beauty contest that articulates for ten days of Carnival (the 12 girls are selected in the previous weeksr) and culminates with proclamation of the “Maria del Carnevale”, on the afternoon of the Mardì Grass. The prize: the Mary of the Carnival will be the Angel that come down from the bell tower of St. Mark next year's Carnival.
The 12 Marie will came on the stage in St. Marks at 04:00 pm after the historical parade that starts from "Castle" districts at 02:30 pm. In the waiting of Marie, the square is animated by historical re-enactments, circus performers, parades of masks. When they arrive on the stage Maries meet the Master of Ceremonies and the Doge and present themselves to the Square
Sunday February 19th, h10:00 am
"Il Volo dell'Angelo" (The Flight of the Angel)
The Angel's Flight is the most spectacular event of the Venice Carnival, the most photographed, admired and taken up by international television networks.
A show within a show: it is impossible not to hold your breath when the young Angel detaches from Campanile di San Marco descends toward the Doge in the Piazza stage. But it is also a unique experience to observe a huge square filled with 80.000 – 100.000 people staring the show in total silence.
The Flight of the Angel, wind permitting, is set at 12:00 am
, after the last beat of bell tower.
Before and after - indicatively from 10:00 to 13:00 - the square is animated by jugglers, historical re-enactments and, of course, a great deal of beautiful masks parading on stage.
From Sunday 19 to Tuesday 28 from 11:00 am to 01:00 pm and 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm
The big parades of masks - Contest: The best masked costume "La Maschera più Bella".
The stage of St. Mark's Square is home to every day of the Carnival, morning and afternoon, the big parade of masks with participants from around the world: an extraordinary show that combines poetry creativity with parades of individuals and groups, interspersed with theatrical performances and sketch of masked entertainers.
Each parade - morning and afternoon - is a mini competition: the best mask the select audience!
The Grand Finale of the competition "The Most Beautiful Mask" will be held on Sunday 26 afternoon.
Sunday morning 26, From 11:00 am to 01:00 pm
“Lo Svolo dell’Aquila” (The Eagle Flight)
Since 2012, the last Sunday of the Carnival coincides with the "Eagle svolo" from Campanile di San Marco. The event, which follows the format of the Flight of the Angel, does not have the commemorative value of the first flight, but among the most interesting items in addition to the obvious spectacular aspect of the descent from St. Mark's bell tower, there is the fact that down is a famous character belonging to the world of sports, music or entertainment. The last two "eagles"? The athlete Paralympic Giusy Versace (2015) and Saturnino musician (2016)
Tuesday 28 afternoon
The proclamation of Maria del Carnevale and "Svolo del Leon" (Flight of the Lion)
Mardì Grass is the last day of Carnival the last day of crazy celebration before the rigors of Lent. The Maria of the Carnival, winner of the competition “Mary of the Carnival”, elected during the previous evening, is proclaimed and crowned by the Doge, on the stage of Piazza San Marco. It is the most important title to which a Venetian girl can aspire because it is awarded not only beauty, but also the ability to impersonate and interpret the spirit of the Carnival and the essence of Venice.
The Maria of the Carnival will receive the most exciting and memorable prize that a beauty contest can tribute: the honor and the unique emotion to wear – on the Carnival of the next year – the costume Angel and being the protagonist of the Angel’s Flight of the Carnival.